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Topics - JayzusB.Christ

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Books & Comics / The Comics Code Authority - a few questions
« on: 15 November, 2021, 01:38:27 PM »
I've been reading a few 1980s / 90s DC and Marvel comics (neither of which I have a huge knowledge of) and was wondering about the Comics Code Authority stamp that most of them still had at this point.  I was under the impression that it was very restrictive regarding sex, violence, drugs etc but there's quite a bit of all on show within the pages.  80s Wonder Woman, for instance, starts off with a fairly explicitly-described mass rape, as well as a post-coital prostitution scene.  Daredevil had some serious ultraviolence and overt references to heroin addiction, and then there was that godawful John Byrne story about Superman and Big Barda in a porn film.  There was the Punisher, of course, who was clearly a murderer and yet was the star of the comic.  All of these, I seem to remember, had the CCA stamp on the cover.

So, did the CCA morph over the years to allow more of this kind of thing? Or was it just there for lip service to worried parents when the 70s and 80s rolled around? I know it was established after Seduction of the Innocent crippled the industry, but I honestly was amazed at what the comics were getting away with a few decades after that shitshow.

General / Dredd in the US
« on: 08 May, 2021, 04:12:33 PM »
Alex Ross's lovely painting in the other thread got me thinking.  How well known is Dredd as a comics character in the States?  I would imagine most comics creators, and the more devoted comics enthusiasts, are at least aware of him, but for everyone else it's an obscure Stallone film.   

Which is a crying shame, really.

General / Dredd's real-time ageing?
« on: 10 April, 2021, 03:59:53 PM »
 So, I'm wondering - has Dredd gone the way of Batman, Spiderman and that lot?  That is to say, has Tharg given up on the whole 'real-time ageing' thing?  I mean, he was feeling his age over 30 years ago.  I know he gets new skin now and again, but he's remarkably well-built and nimble for a geriatric.  I know ageing is slower in the future and all that, but other old people in MC1 look like old people.

I remember Cyber-Matt talking about how there's no reason Dredd can't go on forever, like Superman and co.  But we'll have to give up on the idea that Dredd ages in real time if that's going to happen, surely?

General / Artists at their best
« on: 08 April, 2021, 11:10:26 AM »
Just having a re-read of some old progs (spurred on by Conrad and Fox's podcast - thanks, guys).  I was thinking then about the stories that showed artists doing their best work ever.  Here's a few that sprung to mind:

Steve Yeowell - Zenith Phase 3.  I loved all those crisp straight lines and stark blacks and whites.  Also he'd got rid of that square jaw thing of the earliest phases and his characters looked more human.

Colin McNeil - Song of the Surfer.  Now, obviously he was brilliant on America, but nobody does getting shot to bits like Colin, and that's what SotS was all about. 

Carlos - It's a tough one to call. Colour, I'd say Necropolis - all those gouache purples were just perfect for the murk of the DJ-run city.  Black and white, maybe Strontium Dog - Rage, when he really got Johnny's look and the dusty Wild West style down to a T.

Glenn Fabry - Sláine the King (and the Miniseries).  Obviously his colour work on Demon Killer was amazing, but his B/W stuff on Sláine's home turf was spectacular.

Mike McMahon - Sky Chariots, because of course it's Sky Chariots.

Kevin Walker - Dredd in Sin City.  His new style at its absolute best.

John Hicklenton - Nemesis in Deathbringer.  He'd really refined that muscular, dripping-with-filthy-detail style by then.

Kev O'Neill - Classic Nemesis; around the celebrated Great Uncle Baal scenes.

Henry Flint - A toss-up between his take on Nemesis; the first time I realised he was truly an artist to be reckoned with; and Dredd in Total War; when I realised he was a Dredd artist to be reckoned with too.

Belardinelli - It's going to be Sláine again, specifically The Wicker Man.

Ron Smith - that's a hard one.  The Daily Star Dredds maybe?  Other than that it's the Otto Sump stories, the Fatties stories or the one about the immigrant kid with pyrokinetic powers. Anything that shows off ugly cits and zitty teenagers, basically.

That's all I can think of now, but of course more will follow.

General / The Pit Audiobook
« on: 19 March, 2021, 02:07:57 PM »
I've got through all the Penguin audiobooks now, and The Pit is pretty darned good. 
Unlike America and Halo Jones, there's a third-person narrator here, and it works well too - there's just too much action and too many characters to follow without it.

This is just as frantic but tightly plotted as the comic, and the actors do the job nicely.  Dredd's slightly-softer-than-expected voice suits the desk-job sector chief Dredd better than the fascist authoritarian of the  America audiobook, and while it's not as good as Karl Urban's masterful version, it's much better than Toby Longworth's (no offence to Mr Longworth; but I think his other characters were better than his Dredd).

In fact, Guthrie sounds a bit more like the Dredd of the old audiobooks and the game. I'd have imagined him as a fast-talking street punk type, but it's not a problem.  Star of the show for me is, unexpectedly, Fonzo Bongo!  As an odd blend of Shaggy from Scooby Doo and Scarface, it can't be an easy one to pull off, but he fecking nails it.

Hoping they do more of these audiobooks; it's looking more and more like I'm going to buy any they put out.

General / Halo Jones Audiobook
« on: 15 March, 2021, 08:01:10 AM »
I thought I may as well do a separate thread for it here, rather than carry on in the News section.  Anyway I listened to it all yesterday, and was a lot more impressed than I thought I'd be.  Halo's voice works perfectly for me; from innocent teen to battle-hardened soldier.  The other voices too are fine - I would have thought Toy had an American accent rather than a London one, but it helps to distinguish her from other characters.  Same situation with Life Sentence - I kind of had her down as having a Southern states drawl rather than sounding a tiny bit like Pete Wells.

Didn't expect the emotional punch either.  Maybe it's because I'm older now and I haven't read the whole series since I was younger than Halo is in Book 3, or maybe because it's because the last year has felt like one of the three years Halo loses in Moab, but theme of loss seems a lot more apparent.  Halo's life being gradually stripped of all joy and meaning genuinely brought a tear to my eye, and her fantasy of murdering a child seemed way more chilling.

I'm not sure how this would play out to a listener unfamiliar with the source material, though.  As Jenny points out on Eamonn's podcast, it's not at all clear that Lux Roth Chop is a prepubescent child, given that he has an adult's voice. I don't think it's clear either that the Glyph sacrifices his / her life to save Halo and Toy.

But all in all, as I said, very pleasantly surprised at the quality. America was enjoyable but I definitely prefer this.

General / Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
« on: 28 February, 2021, 09:07:57 PM »
Just discovered these, which I've never seen or heard about before. 

While I do like the style of cover art - which presumably led to Bisley's cover run on Doom Patrol - I'm also moved to wonder what the actual feck.  Zenith smoking a fag?  The utterly unrecognisable lumpy face on the second issue?  And, weirdest of all, Zenith's dad is Donald Trump? 

Also, I thought they weren't allowed to reprint Zenith back then.  My brain is reeling.

General / 2000ad characters and their accents
« on: 10 January, 2021, 08:08:50 PM »
Totally unimportant of course, but often when I'm reading prog dialogue I try to imagine how a character sounds. Dredd isn't a big problem - Karl Urban nailed it, in my book.

Johnny Alpha? Hard to know. I think the excellent short film of a few years ago is probably as close as you'll get - kind of posh London, him being a politician's son. (Though Johnny's speech patterns in recent years are far more English-sounding than his old cowboy talk.).

Is Durham Red from Durham? I think so, given that Wagner and Grant changed her name from Chelsea Blue because they didn't want her to have a Chelsea accent.

Danny Franks - we don't know what country he's from, but i would guess he'd have a similar accent to Johnny's.  Kano - no idea. Maybe he sounds like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.

Rogue Trooper for me is American.  Don't know why - because he's a soldier I suppose, and most war films feature Americans.

Dante - I don't know. Can't really imagine him having a Russian accent. Or is he actually speaking Russian all the time, kindly translated for the reader? The British and American characters seem to understand him ok. Maybe they all speak Russian too.  Or maybe it's a Sláine thing, where the Irish tribe speak the same language as Egyptian invaders, just because.

Off Topic / Things that went over your head (non-prog-related)
« on: 10 January, 2021, 07:47:09 PM »
It's probably about time there was a separate thread for the non-2000ad stuff.

Anyway I've just learned that both of the young lads in Kriss Kross were called Chris, hence the name.

Off Topic / Happy New Year
« on: 31 December, 2020, 06:16:55 PM »
And here's to a better 2021! You people have genuinely played a big part in getting me through this mad year. Thanks 🍻

General / Not sure where to post this, but...
« on: 16 December, 2020, 12:53:15 PM »
Just an interesting little prog-related story.  I went to get my laptop fixed yesterday - the twins in the shop got it working in seconds, and the screen was showing a page from Deadworld that I hadn't closed down (could have been way worse, it being my laptop, and, well, anyway).

The brother who was looking at it asked me if I read 2000ad.  Then he showed me photos of his living room, which was covered with framed, original pages from the Horned God; and the other twin had as many in his own house. 

He then showed me Bisley's name in the contact list in his phone - they'd become friendly with him through their fandom, had been out for pints with him a few times, and still kept in touch.  They'd got into the prog through Bisley's art on Sláine, and had got very much involved - as teenagers, they'd also ended up in the pub with Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Rian Hughes (and yeah, Grant was a bit up himself in those days).

Great to meet fellow squaxxes by accident.  In fact, one of you boarders may be one of them - if so, now you know who I am, and thanks for fixing my laptop :)

General / Are the judges nicer these days?
« on: 10 November, 2020, 08:41:14 PM »
The 'Middle class in MC1' thread made me think of another aspect of our favourite future city.  I remember, and I was only a kid at the time, we used to see things like the Judges divorcing married couples without their consent (Simp about the House / Tales from Mega City 1), knocking citizens unconscious for looking like they might be thinking about committing crimes (Sunday Night Fever), giving citizens terrifying nightmares for not towing the Department line (Reasons to be Fearful) and cubing citizens for silly ideas about using Judge uniforms for advertising (Daily Star Dredds).

Now, I'm not really talking about the democracy thing - it was easy to see Dredd's slow but sure development of an understanding of why citizens might oppose dictatorship - but just the fact that the judges don't seem half as harsh these days (+122 years, of course). 

Now, maybe it's because stories are focused more on the Judges these days than the Cits, and we don't see as much of what's going on with the latter, but it's hard to imagine someone like Beeny storming in and forcing a married couple to divorce.  Also, there's no way the people would love the Mechanismo lads half as much if they were dishing out the same kind of nastiness Dredd and co used to.  In fact, it's hard to see, say, the Silver administration even giving a flying spug whether the citizens like the robots or not.

Judges are even nicer to each other these days - more first names are used, and illicit bedroom action usually seems to be punished with a rap on the knuckles rather than a trip to Titan.

Maybe it's a case of progstalgia, but I kind of miss the old, harsh days.  Has this ever been mentioned in the story?  (I think the celibacy thing has; I do remember Dredd disapproving of how attitudes towards it have softened a bit.)

General / Mentions of 2000ad in other media
« on: 18 October, 2020, 01:56:05 PM »
I know there's another thread about this, but I just can't find it.  If any mod feels like merging this, I'll be more than happy, but no worries either way.

Anyway i was listening to Adam Buxton's very enjoyable Ramble Book audiobook, and he mentions that he hung round with Zac Sandler at school, who would later be a 2000ad contributor - I didn't immediately recognise the name but I recognise his work now i see it.
 And Eric Bradbury made him into a droid! https://britishcomics.fandom.com/wiki/Zac_Sandler

Sandler apparently used to write, animate and act for the Adam and Joe Show too.  Between him, Louis Theroux and of course Joe Cornish, that was quite an impressive small group of schoolmates Adam had there.  Must be shite being the one or two lads from the gang who didn't make it to comics, telly and film.

General / Sinister Dexter puns
« on: 10 October, 2020, 01:13:46 PM »
Normally I hate puns as much as the next Earthlet, but the ones in SinDex are always a treat.  Rex Monday, for example.  Demi Octavo.  The lapdancing club called Straddle Various.  The fact-totem, which I only copped a year or two ago.  Rod and his Staff.  The Um Louts (I went to work in Germany the week after they were introduced and soon got the joke.) My favourite of all, the Hot Pot and News on the Square.  Genius!

It genuinely concerns me that I've probably missed loads of them.  I know a Tannenbaum is a Christmas tree, but I don't know if or how 'Moses' fits in.  Does Tracey Weld have any kind of double meaning?  Missy Solemnis?  Bronski Hammer?

Film & TV / All-time classic films of recent years
« on: 29 September, 2020, 08:45:23 PM »
Just wracking my brains trying to think of any.  Films like Goodfellas, Apocalypse Now, On the Waterfront etc; the ones that will be remembered for years to come as classics.  Not cult classics or anything, much as I'd love Dredd to be remembered as groundbreaking cinema, but the ones that'll go down in history as being among the most important of their age.

I'm kind of stumped - I really liked Joker,  but I think it may be a wee bit too derivative of old Scorsese stuff to be considered a classic.  The Irishman maybe?  For me it was a great watch, but well, like Goodfellas but not as good. 

There's something staring me in the face that I'm not remembering.

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